Charles Edward Cabaña – Business Development Manager, Virtuzone UAE

Follow Charles: LinkedIn

Tell us about your work. Describe your job and how you contribute to the workplace.

As a Business Development Manager at Virtuzone, I guide my clients into choosing the most appropriate licensing option, jurisdiction and activity, depending on their requirements. I have more than 14 years of experience in advising startups on business structure from a corporate and legal perspective. As the industry is flooded with information, you need someone well-versed in this kind of subject.

I believe it is a part of my job to encourage Filipinos to look more into entrepreneurship. It’s sad to know that there are many Filipino brands owned by other nationalities. Since I’ve started in this field in 2008 though, I have seen plenty of Filipinos making a name for themselves.

Have you always had a passion for what you do?

I have always loved my job and I am proud to be in a position where I can empower. Even more than a decade later, it still gives me a sense of fulfillment knowing that my advice/assistance helps my clients achieve their goals.

Tell us about the company. What’s the story behind it? What does it contribute to the market? 

Virtuzone is a pioneer in the UAE’s business setup industry. Since 2009, our company has helped more than 45,000 entrepreneurs establish their businesses in the UAE and build a presence in the MENA region.

We make it easier for individuals/corporations to set up shop here in the UAE trough a broad range of business support services. We also help promote the spirit of entrepreneurship through our unique referral program (https://referral.vz.ae/).

What’s your proudest career moment so far? Are there any special stories that you might want to share?

Being the only Filipino consultant at Virtuzone is one of my most significant milestones. The business setup industry is extremely competitive and fast-paced. So, having a thriving and enduring career is an achievement in itself!

One memorable story I have: there was one client who came to me after consulting different firms that couldn’t pull off what he needed. We helped him successfully establish an office in DMCC and open a bank account, which is difficult especially for those who are new in the UAE. Now, they are a thriving business.

How has the pandemic changed your routine? Please describe a typical day in the life of your work.  

Many people were taking advantage of the opportunity that the pandemic brought – the setup costs were lower, new market segments were opening, and the resources were generally more affordable. Even if some clients were based overseas, I assisted them in establishing their companies remotely. Though face-to-face meetings were limited as we went online more, we made sure to keep the lines of communication open, since there was still a huge demand for company registration at the time.  The pandemic has also taught me to be grateful that I am a part of a solid organization like Virtuzone. Our company has really strived to inspire all of us to unite and overcome the pandemic’s challenges as one.

A typical day in my life? I start my mornings by keeping a positive mindset and a grateful attitude, which help me be productive and have a can-do attitude.

How do you unwind and destress from the demands of your work?

I like spending my free time playing golf. Just being there in the fairway relaxes me, but more so when I hit the ball right and it goes where I want it to go. I do like analyzing the stock market, since investing challenges me and gives me satisfaction. I also enjoy traveling and learning about different cultures and histories.

What’s your advice to Filipinos out there?  

Be more aggressive, confident and take risks. Don’t always play safe. The moment we think as entrepreneurs is the moment we will be financially independent. I also encourage Filipinos to have another source of income, aside from their day jobs. We should have multiple streams of income – and one of them could be your business. Don’t just dream about it, start it. And you can always talk to me about it. #BeYourOwnBoss #LegendaryWink

 

Anna Luisa Asistio – Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, JannahHotels and Resorts UAE

Follow Anna: FB, IG

Tell us about your work. Describe your job and how you contribute to the workplace.

I am in charge of the overall management of the marketing department as Assistant Director of Marketing Communications at Jannah Hotels & Resorts. My main responsibilities include development of marketing campaigns, alignment of corporate and hotel communication strategies, branding, social media, digital, PR, advertising, collaborations and partnerships.

 

Have you always had a passion for what you do?

I always love to study different types of people and their habits, which is why I choose marketing. It is perfect for people who are up to date with trends, result-oriented, efficient, decisive, and strategic.

 

 Tell us about the company. What’s the story behind it? What does it contribute to the market?  

Jannah Hotels & Resorts was founded in the spirit of noble Bedouin hospitality and is a pioneer among hotel groups that specialise in the affordable luxury Halal segment. We have properties in Dubai, RAK, and (soon) Sharjah.

Begin your journey at https://www.jannah-hotels.com/ and by following Jannah Hotels & Resorts (FB, IG, Twitter). As well as http://www.edgehotels.com and social media (FB, IG, Twitter).

What’s your most proud career moment so far? Are there any special stories that you might want to share? 

During the most challenging time of the year in the hospitality industry, I launched the brand new Edge Creekside Hotel in Dubai Creek and Halo Halo Restaurant in Deira and Dubai Marina. My key roles during launch included naming of the hotel and restaurant, brand creation and organizing a launch event which was extremely successful. As part of the new restaurant’s launch strategy, together with my team we created a series of successful food festivals and hosting different celebrity chefs.

I am also blessed to be part of the Hotelier Middle East Power 50 Best Marketeers and 30 Under 30 Most Talented Young Hoteliers in the region, as well as being nominated for multiple other prestigious marketing awards.

How has the pandemic changed your routine? Please describe a typical day in the life of your work. 

With my work there is no typical routine or usual day. We marketeers have to be flexible and ready for challenges according to our daily and weekly tasks. We monitor the current campaigns, check trends, look at what our competitor’s are doing, see what’s new in the market, and network with people. With the pandemic, we switched our interaction to digital, spending more time on our devices and meeting via video calls.

How do you unwind and destress from the demands of your work?

In a world without COVID-19, travelling used to be one of the things I loved to do. In this pandemic, I realized that I am super blessed to have visited almost 30 countries, and once we are in more precendented times I can’t wait to fly towards my next dream destination. On a regular day, to destress, I do love catching up with friends, relaxing on the beach, and sometimes pampering myself with shopping, girly treatment, and Netflix and chill at home.

What’s your advice to Filipinos out there? 

We Filipinos are well-known for our hospitality, optimistic attitude towards life and courage in facing difficult times with a strong faith and never fails to put a smile on our face. We show to the world that we are most compassionate, selflessly eager and are always ready to help anyone in need.

Filipinos are world-class as we can communicate with everyone. We have so much to give as we strive to succeed and share our values, skills, and hard work.

Great things are coming so step out of your comfort zone. Allow yourself to learn something new with no limits, do not be afraid to fail, enjoy the process of growing and use it to move forward. Start conquering the world. I am proud to be a Filipino working abroad.

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